How to Build Your Personal Brand in Freelance Design
August 11, 2014
•Graphic & Comm. Design, General
• 0 Comments
Freelance design is a great way for new graphic designers to get started. But how do you go out there and attract business? Freelancing is very competitive, but there are ways you can raise your profile, increase your income and add to your portfolio. It all starts with building your personal brand. But what does that actual mean? Here's what you need to know:
1. Manage Your Digital Profile
If a potential client needs to someone to complete a design project, they'll search online. That is why it is essential to have a strong online persona. Google your name and examine what comes up. Does your website showcase your work to best effect? You need to embrace all available technology to ensure that what appears in online and social media really shows who you are and what you can do. This is the start of building your personal brand. Use your website as a portfolio and contact point, and social media has a way to engage and inform potential customers.
2. Stay in Touch With All Your Contacts
It may not be obvious, but potential customers are all around you. When starting out, you need to take any advantage you can to score freelance design work. Think of your past employers who may now need additional projects done on a freelance basis; think about family friends and acquaintances; think about local businesses that may need design work; think about your college network of contacts and get them to help spread the word. A freelancer needs to be a great networker, and today that is more than just attending an industry night once a month; it's about letting everyone know what you do, and staying in touch regularly with all of your contacts. You never know when it will lead to work.
3. Showcase Your Work
Whenever you complete a design project, write a case study on it. Do not simply complete it and move on to the next job. This is a fundamental mistake that many novice designers make. Use every opportunity to showcase the work. Put detailed visuals from it on your website; use the content and distribute it on as many social media channels as you can. Use it as a calling card and to encourage potential links. This shows you are serious about the work you are doing and constantly looking for ways to improve.
4. Ask for Endorsements
Ask your clients for an endorsement and then quote that endorsement on your website. Also ask that client to recommend you if they come across other business colleagues that need freelance design work. If your design work is in a particular niche, be proactive and use the work to approach other similar businesses in that industry that may need design work.
Building your personal brand will help distinguish you from other freelance designers and make it easier for potential clients to find you.
Photo credit: Flickr